Skip to main content

tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  January 7, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EST

9:00 am
that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. this morning two showdowns in 24 states with the stakes higher than ever. the gop candidates gear up for back-to-back debates. what each contender needs to do to make it through the fray. also two new polls out putting mitt romney way ahead of the pack. the front-runner is doubling up on his efforts. what does he fear? intense new scrutiny for rick santorum. also, to the rescue, how the u.s. navy saved a iranian fisherman from pirates. jerry sandusky's case goes back to court next week. good morning, high chance to wish you a happy new year. welcome to "weekends with alex
9:01 am
wi witt." with just three days to go to the new hampshire primary, a crucial 24 hours ahead for the gop presidential candidates with two debates back-to-back. we'll go right to manchester, new hampshire, ron mott is standing by with us. a good saturday morning to you, these candidates are squeezing in a wee bit campaign time before back-to-back debates, right? >> reporter: good morning to you. just south of manchester in derry. you can see mitt romney's bus behind me. he's well ahead in the polls here but as he's speaking to this crowd here, he's reminding them polls are polls, elections are elections. he's trying to get people out on tuesday. meantime, it's a full speed race to the finish. breakfast in south carolina. spaghetti dinner in new hampshire. mitt romney is feasting on promising poll numbers in both states, hammering president obama friday even as the nation's unemployment rate fell to a near three-year low. >> i'm sure the president wants to take credit for it, for any improvement. guess what?
9:02 am
he doesn't deserve it. >> reporter: latest nbc news/ r news/maris poll gives mitt romney a commanding lead. with romney up double figures in south carolina polling as well, sharper attacks from opponents are now filling the air perform. >> won't create jobs and timid certainly won't defeat barack obama. >> reporter: friday newt gingrich aired his first tv ad. casting romney as a moderate. to close the gap between the front-runner romney and the field could make for a pair of highly charged nationally te televised debates this weekend. >> there's a battle for second place. and rick santorum, if he could emulate the pat buchanan showing of 1996 and get 25%, he could actually get momentum going into south carolina. >> it's great to be -- >> reporter: santorum's momentum out of iowa propelled him to jam
9:03 am
packed venues. one so large the fire marshal and police were called in to reduce overcrowding. meantime, ron paul also played to a big audience, distancing notions that santorum is his chief opponent. >> oh, hardly. >> reporter: despite targeting what he called santorum's record of betrayal in a new ad. while jon huntsman sought to parlay his boston globe endorsement, one add the suspense. >> thursday although southern republican leadership conference i'll give a key note speech and i'm going to make my unconventional endorsement. >> reporter: herman cain says he plans to make two days before the south carolina primary. when asked if any candidates remaining in the field were unconventional, he said, no, they're all conventional. we'll see what that means. >> yeah. another new poll out in new hampshire tops our looks at
9:04 am
headlines from the campaign trail. with the the closest rival, ron paul, at just 20%. we're going live back to new hampshire in just a few minutes from now to dig deeper into this new poll. on the trail, mitt romney's reacting to those latest poll numbers. here's what he said last night at a spaghetti dinner in new hampshire where he brought south carolina governor nikki haley along. >> we're in a real battle right now. i mean, i know some pollsters say i'm doing real well. those polls, they can just disappear overnight. what you say to a pollster is a bit like going on a date. you know, it's like, well, i might try this. you know, getting married, that's something else. you guys, we need to make sure that you're working real hard. >> that was a funny analogy there. speaking to a group of voters in new hampshire, rick santorum took a swipe at his fellow gop contenders. >> we all have an obligation when you are first in the nation. as a primary. to step up and examine the
9:05 am
candidates. look as who has what is necessary, has both the plan and the record to back up the plan that you know that they'll actually do what they say they're going to do. >> newt gingrich is ramping up tax against the front-runner. during an appearance on "hard ball" last night he blasted mitt romney over negative ads that aired before caucuses. >> he has grandchildren. he ought to run a campaign worthy of his grandchildren. what do you think about this kind of trash on television? what do you think about somebody being beaten up like this on television? weshld run campaigns worthy of our best, not campaigns that demean us to our worst. >> a busy saturday for jon huntsman. he has five events planned today in new hampshire before tonight's debate. all the candidates, except rick perry l be blanketing new hampshire before those back-to-back debates.
9:06 am
we invite to you watch the nbc news facebook debate moderated by david gregory tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. eastern, followed by post-debate coverage by chris matthews. and then we'll have a special edition of "weekends with alex witt" from noon to 2 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. from new hampshire, i'm joined by "new york times" political reporter nicholas and real politics reporter, in manchester and sitting together. good morning. >> good morning. >> i'm looking at your article, erin, where there's a bit of an enthusiasm problem up there in new hampshire. what is that? the voters, the candidates? what's going on up there? >> i think it's both. the candidates have not been campaigning this hard in new hampshire and all over the country this year. it's bony a shorter campaign time. but also mitt romney is doing so well in new hampshire, all of the other campaigns, essentially expect him to win. the voters are enthused by the
9:07 am
candidates either. there is a group that like ron paul, a group that thinks mitt romney would be best. they felt this field has been very la lackluster. you talk about ron paul, but new hampshire appears to be noah what right now because the polls show like by 20-plus points the leader there in mitt romney. what do you think we should be looking for in new hampshire tuesday, do you think it's a fight for second place between, perhaps, paul and santorum? >> well, look, there's always a surprise in this state. i mean, coming out of iowa in 2008 you probably recall that obama was up ten points when he came out. hillary clinton won. ten points is not 20 points. it's an awful big lead. it's hard to imagine things changing so much in a couple of days. as everyone was saying, there are a couple candidates here with pockets of support. you have fairly fluid race and time for one of the candidates to break out again. again and again in this race we have seen that people are
9:08 am
looking for something besides mitt romney. even here in new hampshire where perhaps he's strongest, where he vacations, where he's spent years and years building an organization, i think you can see a real jump from one of those guys. >> i wanted to put on you the stand here to talk about santorum, then, in terms of who's the one who may jump. he's getting the closer look after iowa. a lot has been written about his socially conservative views. but also a fair amount to unearth about his record in washington. you took a close look at santorum in an extensive article back in 2003. what do you think people might be surprised to find out about him? >> well, you know, he's kind of on the trail right now, the working class guy from pennsylvania. he's like you and me. he's not a rich guy, he says. has values like you. but, in fact, he was part of this effort on -- in congress back in the '90s and 2000s essentially to try and take control of k street, lobbying corridor. he was very involved in the party's efforts to make sure
9:09 am
that republicans and loyal republicans were occupying the top jobs at the big trade associations in washington because it was a way to harvest campaign money, in turn the companies part of those associations into backers of the delay agenda, republican agenda. kind of an auxiliary of the party's congressional wing. and he was a top leader in that, he and roy blunt, who was then in the house, would have weekly meetings and go through vacancies at top trade associations and say, you should pick that person, that person, that person. what's fascinating about it is the usual idea we have is that, you know, lobbyists are influencing people in congress, pleading with them, giving them money, twisting them, in fact. what we had here was a fantastic, amazing, unprecedented effort by a party to take control of k street. and he was kind of the main guy in that. >> so, erin, i keep reading the word earmarks when i read about rick santorum lately. so, when do you think his
9:10 am
washington record is becoming -- is going to be front and center like his social record, social conservativism? >> you know, i think it's actually going to be in the battle for south carolina because right now we've got they see back-to-back debates this weekend. then we have the vote here in new hampshire on tuesday. it's unlikely that rick santorum can win in new hampshire. he said that himself yesterday. he may just be too socially conservative for this state because this is actually not that conservative of a state when it comes to social issues. it's the most secular state in the country. but going down into south carolina, jim demint, the senator there and a folk hero for the tea party, doesn't really like rick santorum. actually, rick santorum went to south carolina in 2004 to give a press conference bashing jim demint on earmarks. those two don't really get along. i think we'll see a further flushing out of his record as we get forward into south carolina over the next two weeks. >> that's going to be interesting. good to talk with you. president obama's touting the latest jobs number this
9:11 am
morning in his weekly address. the unemployment rate's down to 8.5%. its lowest level in nearly three years after the economy added 200,000 jobs in december. >> after losing more than 8 million jobs in the recession, we've added more than 3 million private sector jobs over the past 22 months. we're starting 2012 with manufacturing on the rise and the american auto industry on the mend. >> nbc's mike vie kat the white house. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. >> what else is the president saying? >> reporter: the president is taking every opportunity to tout those numbers. at the same time, cautions we are not out of the woods here economically. the white house message was -- has been burned before. you remember the green shoots of recovery summer when they were accused of being overly optimistic about the economy and jobless rate and the jobless rate since then soared above 10%. as they say on wall street, the trend is your friend. the trend is the president's friend in a political sense now certainly, ticking down 0.2% for
9:12 am
december. although most experts and economic forecasters say certainly the president is right. we are not out of the woods yet in terms of the -- in items of the unemployment rate. it is expected to hover in the 8% range all through this year. of course, into the fall, during the election season. he also took the time yesterday to tout his recess nomination -- his recess appointment, very controversial, of course, of richard cordray. >> we'll get you with again at the top of the hour. a hostage drama is over for some iranian fishermen after the crew from an american navy destroyer came to their rescue. it happened in the north arabian sea off the coast of oman. they detained 15 somalis after they revealed in a radio transmission his crew was being held captain. just south much the strait of hormuz, led by aircraft carrier
9:13 am
stennis. three days ago iranian military threatened to attack the stennis. a surfer's paradise in california. 17 foot waves are expected up and down the coast. the swells are coming from a storm system out in the pacific. what can you expect where you are? meteorologist bill karins has those details. good morning. >> good morning to you. this mild, crazy winter continues. it's weekend after weekend we keep talking about this. i want to remind everyone what january is supposed to be like. in is a weather map of what the average typical high should be during the day today. that white line that snakes between kansas city, minneapolis, that's the freezing line. typically even in the afternoons the northern plains, northern great lakes and northern new england this time of year don't get above freezing. usually that's where the snowpack is the deepest. you notice highs even as far south as atlanta and d.c. are only typically low 40s or low 50s. now, let me show you what we dealt with yesterday. the map's completely different. looks like a map i'd show you in late march or early april.
9:14 am
highs yesterday in the 50s and 60s. new york city, chicago, washington, d.c. was 63. i moon, there wasn't many freezing temperatures on the map with the exception of northern portions of maine. so, what are we dealing with out there? all the cold air, this entire winter, except for the occasion -- we had one or two days last week, is all bottled up far to northern canada. until it takes that dip to the south, we're going to stay relatively mild. there's no hints that that cold air is heading our way, at least for the next four to five days. as we go throughout this weekend, cooler air has settled into the northern plains. still above average. the really warm, mild air is really located from texas to the east coast. today's forecast, still a very warm day. d.c. and new york, baltimore, philly, gorgeous 50s. 49 around kansas city. there's a chance snow showers in areas of colorado and new mexico over the next two days, but otherwise it's just a mild, mild weather pattern we've been in. so many people are scratching their head, ski resorts are losing millions of dollars, snowmobilers, too. doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon. back to you.
9:15 am
>> i know. we need the snow. thank you. he's been going his own way. why aren't jon huntsman's efforts paying off in new hampshire the way they did for rick santorum in iowa? office politics for real this time. i'm asking msnbc president and my boss, scary, right, phil griffin about cable news coverage of the 2012 election. if you want to be a millionaire, there's one bad habit you want to break. [ male announcer ] if you had a dollar for every dollar car insurance companies say they'll save you by switching, you'd have, like, a ton of dollars. but how are they saving you those dollars? a lot of companies might answer "um" or "no comment." then there's esurance. born online, raised by technology, and majors in efficiency. so whatever they save, you save. hassle, time, paperwork, hair-tearing-out, and, yes, especially dollars. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call.
9:16 am
9:17 am
♪ ooh baby, (what) can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? align can help. only align has bifantis, a patented probiotic that naturally helps maintain your digestive balance. try align to help retain a balanced digestive system. try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align.
9:18 am
jon hunteman has practically lived in new hampshire and now the new poll shows mitt romney has six times the suspect that huntsman does.
9:19 am
hunteman, rick santorum and newt gingrich are locked in a title battle. >> this is a primary. it isn't a caucus. it isn't a very small slliver. it's a very broad base the example. republicans, independents. if you get a ticket out of new hampshire, we'll do just fine. >> andrew smith is the director of the university of new hampshire survey center. good morning. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. >> do you think huntsman is right where he's saying, let me take a look at new hampshire, because that would be a more appropriate snapshot of a general election. >> well, it is really true. the new hampshire voters turn out at much higher rates than voters than early nomination states. it is, therefore, more representative of what you see in a general election electorate as well as new hampshire republicans being much more to
9:20 am
the center of the united states spectrum. the problem he's got, they're still republicans and he has to convince them he's a republican first. >> why are his efforts there not paying off? say, the way they did for rick santorum in iowa. >> i think it does go back to that turnout issue. most of the voters that come to polls in new hampshire aren't really that politically active. they pay attention to this race at the very end. and they don't know these other -- these guys like jon huntsman. nobody knew who he was before he got into the race here. if they did, all they knew about him is that he was a clint -- excuse me, an obama ambassador to china. meaning, he might be a democrat. >> your new poll out shows just over a third, 37% of likely primary voters are still trying to figure out who they're going to vote for. that's the same percentage of people that says they definitely picked their candidate. what do you think people are waiting for? >> well, this is typical in new hampshire. voters make up their mind at the very end. exit polls have shown consistently that upwards of 20%
9:21 am
of people make up their minds on election day. a big reason for that is that this is a republican primary. there isn't that much difference between any of these candidates on political issues. vote voters, guys have other things to do in life. what they look for are electability, do they like the person. do they see a clever ad? did they make a mistake? those are last-minute issues that make a pollster's life miserable. >> here's something interesting you asked. you asked which most important three characteristics in the candidate. here's what the result was there. 40% of those surveyed said position on issues. 28% said a candidate's leadership skills. 22% said his ability to defeat president obama. given these rankings, why do you think romney is so far ahead considering other candidates have stronger reputations, fairly or not, for being more consistent on conservative
9:22 am
issues. you don't hear that flip-flop phrase. >> because mitt romney fits in well with the issues important to new hampshire republicans. he's a moderate northeastern republican. new hampshire republicans tend to be moderate northeastern republican voters. he fits in well with this state. the electability issue is something nobody really wants to admit right now. they want to tell pollsters, frankly, they're thinking about who they're going to vote for but electability is what this comes down to. republicans want to have a guy that can beat president obama in november. >> do you think bottom line primary night it's all about the race for number two? >> i really do think so. what we've been seeing in our polls is that rick santorum has gotten a bounce out of iowa. he's somewhat limited because there aren't that many conservative voters here. i think he could really challenge ron paul for second place. ron paul has not been able to deliver his poll numbers in other states and he wasn't able to deliver the poll numbers he had in new hampshire in 2008.
9:23 am
so, i think that race for second could be quite close. >> andrew smith, many thanks for your insights. appreciate it. >> thank you. so, with two big new hampshire debates tonight and tomorrow, how would you prepare for the debates if you were a presidential candidate? talk to me on twitter. my handle is@alex whis@alexwitt. the iowa vote count errors. the ron burgundy moment for a real life weather man in today's one-minute playback.
9:24 am
9:25 am
9:26 am
in this morning's one-minute playback, life imitating art if you consider "anchorman" art. how could you not? remember that scene where he says, i love lamp? here's a refresher. >> are you just looking at things and saying that you love them? >> i love lamp.
9:27 am
>> do you really love the lamp or are you just saying it because you saw it? >> i love lamp! i love lamp! >> steve carell there. anyway, those same words were uttered on a local news program thursday in green bay, wisconsin, after a little teleprompter prank. check this out. >> but people who had cats during chide hood were not as likely to develop an allergy no matter where the cat curled up. >> so you became immune to it? >> exactly. >> in other news i love lamp -- >> oh, he totally read it. >> you got me. all right. that's -- that's a little joke. if you've seen "anchorman". >> he'll read anything put in the teleprompter and that's proof right there. >> i love lamp. thanks, guys. >> that's really funny. okay. gums g g g
9:28 am
are the foundation for her healthy smile. crest-pro health clinical gum protection helps eliminate plaque at the gum line. helping prevent gingivitis. it's even clinically proven to help reverse it in just four weeks. crest pro-health clinical gum protection. ♪ imagine zero pollutants in our environment. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all. ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for unsurpassed fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion. could've had a v8.
9:29 am
9:30 am
diarrhea, gas or bloating? get ahead of it! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defend against digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. hit me! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. flavored with real honey. powerful cold medicine that leaves out artificial flavors and dyes and instead uses something more natural, honey. new vicks nature fusion cold & flu. ♪
9:31 am
with highs on new hampshire but there are serious eyes lingering in iowa because of the vote count in tuesday's iowa cau caucuses. nbc campaign has the latest on the potentially fluid vote count. this is an interesting situation. what's going on, jamie? >> hi, alex. you have a small precinct, iowa caucus made up of more than 1700 precincts, staffed by volunteers. a small precinct in southern iowa along the missouri line. have you a vote counter is there who has apparently filed an affidavit saying that 20 fewer votes for mitt romney were reported to the iowa republican party. in other words, the iowa republican party recorded 20 more votes for mitt romney than
9:32 am
this particular vote counter in this tiny county says actually occurred. >> so, i think it went from 2 to 22 or something, but you've got to wonder, the iowa republican party is saying, no matter what happens, when they do official tally, they're confident things will stay the same. how does that math add up? >> right. a couple things are worth noting. one, you're right that the iowa republican party has said it won't comment any further. privately it seems they believe that whatever the outcome, it's not going to change the ultimate outcome of the caucus. they seem to believe mitt romney will remain the winner. a couple things worth noting about the process itself. one, there is a two-week certified fiction process that's happening right now. the results are unofficial. as i said, the caucus is staffed by volunteers, so the party itself has to certify. it doesn't offer dell garretts, it's nonbinding, doesn't have
9:33 am
any effect on the iowa delegates. >> good points. appreciate that. is rick santorum a national contender? the former senator gaining momentum in new hampshire ahead of tomorrow night's and tomorrow's debates. tracking polls show him inching up to 8% from 3% this. can a strong showing in iowa and a surge in new hampshire translate into broader appeal? i'm joined by former pennsylvania congressman joe sestak and eleanor clift. hello. >> good to be with you. >> representative sestak, i'll begin with you. how is santorum's national campaign being received in pennsylvania, your state there, where he began his political career more than two decades ago? >> well, i think there's a bit of pride, you have someone doing well from pennsylvania. but he didn't do well in his last snoral race for a reason. a lot of respect for rick santorum because he ask things in a ras grassroots way. he can look a person in the eye and make them feel he's
9:34 am
listening. but his ideology, particularly social conservative issues, culture issues, didn't bode well in pennsylvania. it's not going to on the national scene, particularly after south carolina. i have respect for the man. but it's not what americans are looking for today. they're actually -- i really believe, alex, they're looking for someone a bit more pragmatic, willing to make government work in their minds and willing to reach across the aisles in a compromised way. he won't believe after south carolina, i believe. >> eleanor, earlier this week santorum himself made this pitch. this was all about appealing to voters around the country. let's take a listen to what he said. >> if we have someone who can go out to western pennsylvania and ohio and michigan and wisconsin and iowa and missouri, and appeal to the voters left behind by a democratic party that wants to make them dependent instead of valuing their work, we will win this elections. >>. >> do you think he can pull it off? >> well, i think rick santorum's
9:35 am
problem was demonstrated in his race for senate which he lost by 18 points. he has difficulty reaching beyond a narrow slice of the electorate. he potentially has very appealing message. he mixes his social values with social justice. i mean, he really is infused, i think, by his religion. he takes that seriously not just on the issue of reproductive rights. he's opposed to abortion in all instances and cares about social justice and working in the inner city, antipoverty programs. but i think there's kind of -- almost a fanaticism about him that scares people. he does have a common touch, which i think he can relate better than anyone else in the republican field. certainly more than mitt romney, to middle class anxieties. but this intensity is off-putting. >> congressman, you were attacked by santorum after you
9:36 am
defeated arlen specter. he called you a wide-eyed howard dean. do you expect to see more of that kind of rhetoric from santorum against opponents, now that he's on the national stage? take it up a notch, in other words? >> well, i think rick santorum can't change who he is. he's always been like that. whether it was working down in the establishment of the senate or whether he was running across the state. and i think that's why he is not going to last in the longer term. eleanor has a very good point, though. i mean, there are projects, i know of them, with the homeless down in philadelphia where he does care. but his rhetoric and his policies of how he wants to effect change is a bit off-putting to a common sense pennsylvanian. in the longer term, his comments like recently that he said on other candidates, using the word disgusting, i don't think that's going to last him well in the longer term. and i don't think he's going to show himself as an electable candidate.
9:37 am
>> eleanor, we've been seeing a bit more of the details, financial ones, of santorum's bank account. when he left the senate in 2007 his net worth was estimated between $560,000 and $1.9 million. his most recent personal financial disclosure shows his net worth was between about $1.2 million and $4 million. how much of that money is coming from advising firms, including lobbyists and appearing on fox news? we think a fair chunk of that. if so, how are those numbers going to sit with voters? >> he presents himself as this outsider, working class kid who made good when, in fact, he's become the poster boy for the revolving door between political life and the special interests. i mean, he really is cashing in on all the connections he made in the senate. now, i don't -- i assume that the interest that he represents do reflect the positions he took in the senate. it's not like he's done a big flip-flop on various issues. but he certainly made a lot of money working the washington system.
9:38 am
talking with great passion. he's a welcome contrast to mitt romney, who is so robotic and the republican primary voters are really having difficulty accepting the fact that romney is their likely nominee. so, i think this is a flirtation with santorum. i don't think it will be consummated, but it's going to be interesting while we watch. >> eleanor, it's a breakfast show, for heaven's sake. eleanor cliff, joe sestak, thanks to the both of you. if president obama gets his way, federal workers will get a bump up in pay, albeit a small one. administration sources say the president's upcoming budget for 2013 will include a 0.5% in
9:39 am
federal pay ending a two-year wage freeze imposed in 2010. the proposal could touch off another showdown with congress where republicans want to extend the pay freeze through next year. drum roll, please, it's time for our "office politics" segment. this week i talk to my boss, msnbc president phil griffin. he's a fan. >> "office politics" is a hit. i love it. >> yeah. >> it's a franchise. i love franchises that make you stay tuned or tune in. this is one of them. so, congratulations. >> well, thank you so much. we're going to kick off the year with you. here's my question, speaking of the year, big ol' presidential election. when you look at the coverage msnbc is going to have ahead, what's the biggest challenge that comes to mind? what's the first thing you think, wow, this is something i've got to tackle? >> we've got to be unique. we have to be different. we have to be president. we have to break through. everybody's going to cover this. the same conversations at cnn, fox, at abc, at pbs at, you
9:40 am
know, every possible outlet. how are we going to break through? how are we going to get through the clutter? i say it's a knife fight every day. how are we going to differentiate ourselves, connect with the audience, grow, take advantage of this political year? how do we take advantage of it? this is a year we'll put a stake in the ground that we own politics. >> the word progressive is an interesting one, particularly with our lean forward campaign. progressive can be interpreted two different ways. you can have it you're progressing something, rolling something forward or in a political term now, it has a left-leaning feel to it. what does it mean for msnbc? because we're constantly branded as being progressive. >> i think -- look, it has many interpretations but in the end is how do you make things better? let's look forward. you know, i was at a -- i was at an nbc event four years ago today. where steve jobs spoke.
9:41 am
he said something that was so interesting. he said, you have to look around the corner. that stayed with me ever since i heard it. look around the corner. he said, these jobs are hard. look around the corner. that is so smart. don't look down. you know, in your vision, what do you see down the road? i don't see anything down the road. i see a bunch of trees. what's around the corner? >> what do you see around the corner? >> you have to figure it out. what's around the corner we're not doing that we should be doing? and the people that see around the corner, that figure it out, are going to be the ones that win, period. so, that's how i think with lean forward, everything is -- let's not look back. >> like you lean forward and peek around the corner. >> peek around, figure it out. where are we going to be? let's not get caught up in old ways. how do we make our world better? how do we make, you know, our country better? how do we make our politics better? how do we make what we do better? that's what it's about.
9:42 am
if we can look around the corner and figure it out and be right, then we win. and that's what it's about. don't be flat-footed. don't be back on your heels. i really believe this. in another way -- i'll give you another analogy. i look at our competitors and i see one as sort of this -- this sort of gray area. and another that's sort of black and white. i want to be blossoming colors. i want to be in full color. that's what -- i want to be full of ideas. full of information. full of just -- you come to us and you know it's wild and it's interesting and it's -- you know, you're going to learn something. and that's what msnbc should be. and i think that's what we're doing. and what the other guys aren't doing as well. >> as i look around this office, phil, you are an absolute consummate family man but i have to wonder about the pillow talk at your house last sunday night. jets/dolphins game. >> ugly. >> that didn't go down well. what happened to -- >> we were at the game. we were at the game. >> mr. sanchez, what is up with that?
9:43 am
>> i don't know. not good. not good. it's not good. >> i know you and your wife -- you're jets, she's dolphins. >> it's not pretty. and that game was ugly. and every year we go to both. we go to the one in miami and the one in new york. and i hate the dolphins. and i did not like the way we played. we got a little too cocky. if you're going to be cocky, have you to back it up. my son this year, who is a mild fan became a eagles fan because of michael vick. >> what a divided house. >> it's crazy. but we love sports. >> we have a lot more of my interview with phil griffin later on in our show, including discussion about the evolution of cable news from his vantage point in that corner office. millionaires better be on their very best behavior this tax season. new figures from the irs show more people are making at least seven figures and they are getting audited. 12% of millionaire tax returns were red flagged last year double the percentage of audits two years ago.
9:44 am
there's your heads up.
9:45 am
9:46 am
9:47 am
penn state today has a new head football coach. new england's patriots' offensive coordinator bill o'brien will succeed joe paterno at the school. paterno was forced out after sex abuse charges were filed against jerry sandusky. sandusky was scheduled to be in court next week. but he has waived his january 11th arraignment. we would have had 5 2 counts of sexual abuse charges red to him along with an opportunity to enter a plea to those charges. joining me for more on that and the big legal battles this year, karen desoto. thank you for being here. tell me what he's doing here. waiving hi preliminary hearing rights. his attorney has said sandusky is looking to do a new tv interview? >> yeah. >> have they not heard what you say all the time which is, no,
9:48 am
no, zip it. >> stop talking. you know, when you do the plea originally, a lot of people waive that because that's prefu prefunktory. the buzz about him doing an oprah interview, that's just -- what could possibly be the reasons? to cast doubt? sway public opinion? it's strange. he keeps piling on his inconsistent statements. it just gets woergs every time he talks. i don't know who's advising him, but he needs to stop. >> is there any way to stop the guy? i mean, as an attorney, if you have a client like that, because -- you know, everything from the tone of his voice to the vernacular, the way he says things in his previous interviews, you just kind of think, oh, that's not right. >> a lot of attorneys will drop you. if you want to talk to the immediate, yeah i'm not going to represent you. find somebody who does that. call one of those very popular attorneys who are more than happy to get the media attention. but, you know, series attorneys say, listen f you want to win
9:49 am
your case, if you want to make a touchdown instead of a field goal, keep your mouth zipped. there's too many inconsistent statements. at the end of the day, sometimes in a very desperate situation, you do want to have your clients testify. they can't testify if there's 5,000 inconsistent statements. it's not going to work. juries want to hear you. if you're going to die, give it the last hail mary. >> question is, who wants to hear from casey anthony, which apparently we did this week. let's take a look at what we saw online, everybody. here it is. >> just a little surreal how much things have changed since july and how many things haven't changed. the good thing is that things are starting to look up and things are starting to change. in a good way. >> yeah. okay. talk about -- what is this? >> it's like a live case study with her. i mean, it's interesting because the rumors are is that a lot of publishers don't want to touch her because of, you know, the disturbing content.
9:50 am
they to want go with somebody like amanda knox or a book with amanda knox who is morally, less disturbing than casey anthony. it's interesting. i think probably they're test marketing. maybe wants to see what kind of response she gets. i know that her attorney was saying that this was hacked and that they didn't post this. that this was not her posting it it. that somebody hacked into it. >> i don't know. my personal opinion would be i don't necessarily believe that. >> but if they are putting it out there, do they really think it will help rehabilitate her image? this woman talked about "i" 48 times. there was nothing of caylee. nothing. >> well, maybe she wants to sell books. maybe she wants to publish and see if this is marketing strategy because nobody will touch her. if she has a nar systic
9:51 am
personality, which i believe everybody believes that she has, she wants to get back out into the public eye. social media is huge right now. so you can self-publish, put yourself out there, and get all of the attention you want. and, look, we're talking about it. >> you're right. you're absolutely right. karen desoto, thank you. mitt romney has his feet in new hampshire but his eyes are on florida. that is ahead. plus, mr. momentum with new-found money. but can rick santorum's new windfall spell victory? oh it's clearance time! yeah, our low prices are even lower. we need to teach her how to walk. she is taking up valuable cart space. aren't you, honey? [ male announcer ] it's our biggest clearance event of the year where our prices are even lower. save money. live better. walmart.
9:52 am
9:53 am
9:54 am
back to the new hampshire race and mitt romney who is cruisi cruising towards the finish line way out in front, mitt romney is at 42, a distant second, ron paul at 22 and rick santorum at
9:55 am
13%. i'm joined by mark murray. good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> is mitt romney unstoppable in new hampshire? is it a done deal? >> it certainly looks that way. mitt romney owns a home in new hampshire. he was the former governor of neighboring massachusetts. and he launched his presidential campaign in new hampshire always knowing that new hampshire is going to be an important state for him to run up a big margin there to protect himself if he lost the iowa caucuses or upcoming primary. >> what is the big story line? is it romney's potential victory or is it other candidates' performances and the expectations of them? >> given mitt romney's 20-point lead in new hampshire, it's really the battle for second place. we're seeing ron paul at second place and rick santorum at 13%.
9:56 am
the last poll was conducted in late november and he's gone from number two to 13%. but i'm looking to see if we get higher teens, maybe closer to 20%. if he does, that would be a very consolation prize for the former senator of pennsylvania. >> what is it with this poll -- how do you find their difference? >> one thing is that they really value electability. would you actually prefer a true conservative or someone capable of beating obama in november? and more than 60% say that they
9:57 am
actually preferred a more electable nominee rather than the true conservative. on top of that, 65% in the entire poll identified mitt romney as the more electable republican. electability is really benefiting him. >> iowa made a contender out of rick santorum. look what he did in two days. raised $2 million. now he's running this multistate thing. do you think he can catch up to the leader of the pack, mitt romney? >> of course, we're going to get our first glimpse in new hampshire but more importantly in south carolina. south carolina is going to turn into a last stand for social conservative. $2 million that rick santorum ended up raising in 48 hours is a very good start for him to be able to build the campaign funds, to run tv ads, to having a campaign infrastructure. new hampshire showing viability there as well as having conservatives coalesce and newt
9:58 am
gingrich and potential conservative vote could get split. new hampshire and south carolina are important now. >> always great to see you. thank you. >> in just a moment, santorum attacking ron paul's credentials. plus, he's still in it to win it, despite dreadful polling. how much longer will perry hang on? >> and in today's strategy talk. [ female announcer ] if whole grain isn't the first ingredient in your breakfast cereal, what is? now, in every box of general mills big g cereal, there's more whole grain than any other ingredient. that's why it's listed first on the side. from honey nut cheerios to cinnamon toast crunch to lucky charms, get more whole grain than any other ingredient... without question. just look for the white check. wait -- scratch that -- what makes you trust a car insurance company?
9:59 am
a talking animal? a talking character? a talking animal character? how fancy their commercials are, maybe? or how many there are? well what about when a company's customers do the talking? esurance customers are saying stuff like "awesome" and "rockin'." and they aren't even paid to. fancy that. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call.
10:00 am
10:01 am
this morning more mitt-mentum. also, who will win the fight night, get the morning glory? who needs to cram before tonight? plus, new year and a new buzz kill. why the price of your favorite cup of coffee could be spiking. oh, no. that's bad for me. good morning, everyone.
10:02 am
welcome to "weekends with alex witt." two weeks to go before the all important new hampshire primary. romney's leading in the new wmur university of new hampshire poll. there he has 44%. ron paul is in second with 20. santorum and gingrich each have 8. meanwhile, romney sharpening his attacks on president obama. last night in new hampshire, he brought along south carolina's governor nikki haley and slammed the economy. >> he's also failed here in our own economy. 25 million people out of work, stopped looking for work. i'm glad it's doing a little better now. i'm sure the president will want to take credit for any improvement. guess what, he doesn't deserve it because everything he has done has hurt this country's recovery. >> santorum is attacking gom
10:03 am
candidates in new hampshire. >> a lot of folks are saying, rick, the reason you're not doing good in the polls is because you spend a lot of time not what you're going to do but you talk about what you've done. you spend so much time talking about what you've done. all the other candidates talk about what they are going to do. and my response is, if i had their record, that's what i would talk about, too. >> at the same time, ron paul is attacking ron paul's conservatism. >> a balanced budget amendment, never did anything about it, but four or five times he voted to raise the national debt? that tells you how he doubled the department of education at the same time he voted for that program to increase massively the prescription drug program. >> and newt gingrich is leveling attacks against mitt romney on
10:04 am
msnbc's "hardball" over negative ads that aired in iowa. >> his grandchildren, he ought to win a campaign showing his grandchildren. what do you think about somebody being beaten up like this on television? we should run campaigns worthy of our best, not campaigns that demean us to our worst. >> all of the candidates except rick perry will be covering dmir. they have events planned today until tomorrow night's debates. ron, i understand some opponents just tried to crash there. really? >> hey there, alex. good morning. a small group of people surrounding mitt romney's bus. he has decided to wrap up the rally within the last hour. there was a group of protesters outside but apparently not
10:05 am
content to stay outside. they stormed inside the building. here's a look at what happened. take a look and listen. >> even in massachusetts we balance the budget every year. we had some people who want to make themselves hurt. hi, guys. hi, there. how you doing? all right. you can see that we are actually standing close to outside here and wondering why the police were escorting this group of protesters to come all the way out to the street. one protester made his way back down here waiting with a bull horn. we'll have to see what he says for the candidate. but all in all a. pretty upbeat rally in dairy today. mitt romney planning to leave here soon to get ready for the big debates tonight and tomorrow. alex? >> ron, what are the topics that candidates are addressing?
10:06 am
>> reporter: the economy. obviously we've got the jobless numbers yesterday which were a surprise than most people expected, unemployment rate going down to 8.5%. governor romney took the president to task for that. that's the biggest issue here. one thing that we're seeing that we didn't necessarily see in iowa is the number of undecided voters is much smaller in the msnbc marist poll, it's about 6 or 7%. everyone has pretty much made up their minds here. mitt romney enjoys a sizeable lead in the polls. >> ron mott, thank you for that. the consumer financial protection bureau, angered republicans this week by appointing a director of that bureau in a so-called recess appointment that circumvented congress and its approval process. i'm joined by both of you. good day to you.
10:07 am
thank you for joining us. >> reed, i'll begin with you. is the president picking a fight with congress and is this the way to go? >> if he's going to set himself up against anybody, it's going to be unpopular. and down to blood relatives and staff approving of him. if you're against something, why not be against something that everybody hates. that's exactly what this pick of richard cordray means and it's going to be a contrast election if he's got any chance of winning. >> so maleka, reid is touching on this, making unemployment and jobs a major issue, the kind of congress won't act so i will, is that a winning argument? >> i think it's probably a
10:08 am
better argument than congress won't let us get anything done. i think this circumventing congress is going to resonate with the base and want to see the president put up a fight and push through his agenda that they very much favor. so i think it's definitely a pivot that we've seen from this president over the last couple of days. it didn't resonate very well on the trail with these republican candidates who really stepped up their attack on this president saying that gingrich was saying that this was an imperial president circumventing congress, that the senate wasn't out of recess and these appointments were illegal. it did give the republicans something to talk about on the stump here in new hampshire. >> do you think, reid, that mitt romney, he's making the president's recess appointments in south carolina, he's got this new radio ad called chicago-style politics, is that the tact to take against the president? what works during this phase of
10:09 am
the primary? >> i think it's a note that mitt romney has to strike. you mentioned at the top of the hour who is attacking who and what everybody is saying about each other. he's focused all of the attacks on president obama and trying to make himself look electable and in the nbc marist poll, that's exactly what a new hampshire republican or south carolina government wants to see right now. >> and is that exactly what the re-election team is looking for in new hampshire, the concept of who is the most electable in terms of beating president obama? is that what they are looking for? >> romney? i think so. i mean, even you saw in iowa where mitt romney isn't exactly a good fit for some of those conservative voters. we think he won but that's what
10:10 am
people are looking at. i think there is a prakt kalt that is starting to kick in among these republican voters in terms of looking forward to the following, who is best able to stand on stage next to president obama. it's a message that you hear from newt gingrich every single day. who is best able to make it a clean argument in the president. newt gingrich has fallen a lot in the polls and new hampshire and south carolina as well and so he isn't looking as great. that's the argument that you hear from everybody now, the idea of who is best and pure enough to really take the case to obama. in conservative case against obama. >> interesting. nia-malika and reid wilson, thank you. we invite you to watch the "meet the press" with david
10:11 am
gregory tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and the latest jobs report. the jobs market added 200,000 jobs in december, dropping the unemployment rate down to 8.5%. meantime, the super bowl is less than a month away and nbc says the spots have sold out at record prices. and it's going to take a little more cream cash, that is, to get your copy at starbucks. vera gibbons is joining us. >> nice to see you. >> we'll always start with jobs, good news there you think we're adding to the payrolls here, the head count, that's a positive step in the right direction i think it basically confirms that 2011 was better than 2010 and as we move into 2012, it's a step in the positive direction but
10:12 am
it's the pace. it would take six million jobs to take us back to 2008 levels and 13 million americans are unemployed. while it's a step in the right direction and the glass is half full versus half empty, we have a long way to go, alex. >> yeah. how much are we talking about with these record prices for the super bowl ads here? >> a lot of money. $3 million and some are paying as high as $4 million for nbc. what this buys, of course, is major, major exposure. last year, 111 americans watch the super bowl. that number will probably even be higher this year. so it gives them that exposure. you're going to see the key categories, you know, in terms of advertising, beverages, snacks, auto tiffs, go daddies. one featuring jillian, the fitness guru.
10:13 am
>> hey, vera, how much more do you have to pay for your starbucks? this is what i drink and vera brings it to me. >> every saturday. >> it's more. we're paying more in new york, boston, atlanta, dallas. i did pay a little more for your drink, alex, but i don't think people are going to complain about these price hikes because they are nominal. you can still buy the fancy drinks for under $5. starbucks is doing this because their price is up, the materials, the coffee, labor, fuel costs, everything is up. so they are passing that off to the consumer and you and me and everybody else continues to pay the price. >> totally addicted. >> yours is not one of the fancy $5 drinks. it's a little less than that. we're going to tell you who to watch on the campaign trail as you keep it here on "weekends
10:14 am
with alex witt." you what makes the sleep number store different? you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you want a firm bed you can lie on one of those. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. it's really shaping to my body. once they get our bed, they're like, "why didn't i do this sooner?" during the final days of our year-end closeout event, save up to $800 on selected 2011 bed sets. plus, free shipping on all beds. only at the sleep number store, where queen bed sets now start at just $899.
10:15 am
10:16 am
♪ more and more folks are trying out snapshot from progressive. a totally different way to save on car insurance. the better you drive, the more you can save. no wonder snapshot's catching on. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. you tell us what you want to pay, and we give you a range of coverages to choose from. who is she? that's flobot. she's this new robot we're trying out, mostly for, like, small stuff. wow! look at her go! she's pretty good. she's pretty good. hey, flobot, great job. oops. [ powers down ]
10:17 am
uh-oh, flobot is broken. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. call or click today. heading into tonight and tomorrow, romney is in the latest polls. he will slink the arrows coming on the debate stage. joining me from new hampshire is romney supporter, former new hampshire senator and governor, judd greg. nice to see you again. >> nice to see you. >> we know thaw helped george bush practice for the debates, you played john kerry. who are you impersonating? >> no, he doesn't need any help
10:18 am
for these debates. they've probably had a hundred of these. every day they seem to have one. i think they are all ready for the debates. they all know what each other are going to say. the message is very clear. he doesn't need any help. >> so how is he preparing then if he doesn't have you? how is he preparing for tonight and tomorrow? >> first, he's on the campaign trail which is the most effective way to prepare. get out and talk to people and take questions from people. the questions that you get from folks here on the street in new hampshire are very aggressive, very thoughtful, and just as good as any questions that they will get at the debate. that's one of the best ways to sort of figure out how you want to answer the questions and make sure that the answers are effective. i think just campaigning in the one on one type of atmosphere in new hampshire is very effective. >> you endorsed mitt romney back in 2008 as well as what you are doing this year. >> right. >> with years to focus on this race, how do you see him as
10:19 am
being a different candidate now? >> i think he's significantly different in his ability as a candidate and the message that he is carrying forward. he's much more precise and focused. one of your prior guests said mitt romney is going to do well because he has a house here and governor of massachusetts. well, he had a house here and governor of massachusetts and didn't do so well. the fact that he's doing so well says that he is resonating much more effectively with the message that is current to the times, which i think is fiscal responsibility in getting our economy going through expanding the opportunities in the private sector and this is what new hampshire people are interested in. we're not a socially conservative state in the sense that we have social issues on our sleeves. most of the vote here is socially conservative. but it's not -- that's not the issue. there's not a 50 to 60% of evangelical groups in this state as there was in iowa that identifies their vote as being
10:20 am
evangelical. here people are interested in the economy, how you get it going, how you get the federal government to be fiscally responsible and mitt's message is right on those points. i think people are listening to it and reacting to it in a positive way. >> i'm curious how your fellow residents there react to the romney campaign and on the airwaves, for instance, having john mccain go after rick santorum, let's listen to part of this. >> when rick santorum sponsored earmark after earmark, i wbt down to the floor and fought against those. my friends, earmarks are gateway to corruption. >> corruption, pretty harsh word. when you have mitt romney so far ahead of these polls, why go negative? >> well, first off, nobody tells john mccain what to say. i served him for 18 years and nobody tells john mccain what to
10:21 am
say. i'm sure that was a self-initiated statement on his part. i phappen to believe that -- i disagree with john on that position, for example. i think mitt has run a positive position. it's all about his view of how to govern the country better than the president has governed it. that's not a high hurdle but he's talking about taking us down the road of continuing american excellence and exceptionalism versus the obama path. that's the message that i think needs to be delivered and he's delivering it effectively. >> do you think new hampshire's status is such an independently minded state gets diluted at all if they go the way of iowa and elect mitt romney. >> iowa has very little impact
10:22 am
here in our state. we do tend to be very independent. the one thing that you can predict about new hampshire is unpredictable. obviously the polls are very positive for mitt romney. especially by independent voters, independents get to vote in new hampshire which is a big difference from iowa and i happen to think that mitt romney appeals to the independent vote here in new hampshire because he is delivering this message of fiscal responsibility. and new hampshire can do unpredictable things. my guess is that mitt will run well. >> governor, thanks so much. >> thank you. what you must see and must avoid. plus, the unemployment
10:23 am
numbers. are they the lowest in nearly three years? that's what we're hearing. and mike is putting on his polyester suit. that's next on weeken"weekends alex witt". this new at&t 4g lte is fast.
10:24 am
10:25 am
did you hear sam... promoted to director? so 12 seconds ago. we should get him a present. thanks for the gift basket. you're welcome. you're welcome. did you see hr just sent out new... rules? cause you're currently in violation of 6 of them. oh yeah, baby? ...and 7. did you guys hear that fred is leaving? so 30 seconds ago.
10:26 am
[ noisemakers blow ] [ both ] we'll miss you! oh, facecake! there's some leftover cake. [ male announcer ] the new htc vivid. stay a step ahead with at&t 4g lte, with speeds up to 10x faster than 3g. ♪ they may be few, but they are the biggest wireless web consumers that consume half of all of the data using 90% of the wireless bandwidth thanks in large part to video. check out the miles per gallon. the length of the power train warranty. and the horsepower. only ram delivers this kind of muscle.
10:27 am
that'll thin out the herd real quick. guts. glory. ram. ♪ that'll thin out the herd real quick. like so many great pioneers before me, guided only by a dream. i'm embarking on a journey of epic proportion. i will travel, from sea to shining sea, through amber waves of grain, and i won't stop until i've helped every driver in america save hundreds on car insurance. well i'm out of the parking lot. that's a good start. geico, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent, or more on car insurance.
10:28 am
10:29 am
♪ that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. you want to hear you've done a good job. that's why i recommend a rinse like crest pro-health multi-protection. it helps you get a better dental check-up. so be ready for your next dental check-up. try any crest pro-health rinse. president obama's highly lighting the latest job numbers. the labor department says 200,000 jobs were added to the economy last month and that brought the unemployment rate to
10:30 am
8.5%. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house. >> i'm not getting in anyone's nova. that's definite for me. >> good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. the president is really riding in a role here ticking down yet again, there was a dramatic sink in november. creating 212 private sector jobs, the most private sector jobs that have been created since 2005 and the unemployment is down to where it was during the president's first year at 8.5%. yesterday the president made a visit across the street here. he was sort of taking a victory lap for that -- after that
10:31 am
controversial recess appointment of mr. cordray. at the top of his remarks he mentioned the economic numbers cautioning that there's still a lot of work to do. >> after losing more than 8 million jobs in the recession, we've added more than three million private sector jobs over the past 22 months. and we're starting 2012 with manufacturing on the rise and the american auto industry on the mend. >> reporter: so the president continuing his economic message next week. he's got something planned called an in-sourcing event. you hear a lot about outsourcing to india and elsewhere. the president is going to highlight a new trend, companies bringing jobs back to the united states from overseas. that's next week. the president continuing to hammer away. meanwhile, alex, congress still on vacation. the house not back until the 17th. the senate not until later, the 23rd. >> let's pick up on the vacation. you mentioned the recess
10:32 am
appointment of richard cordray, the labor relations board. there's also a change in immigration board that will allow people to say here longer as they apply for green cards. how does this complicate the president's relationship with the -- with the. >> in terms of that relationship, the relationship is frayed. there's one fight after another. washington is paralyzed by gridlock in terms of this recess point, he wants the fight as much as he wants the appointment himself, alex. >> thank you very much, mike viqueira. see you again. >> all right. 16 television deed debates are already in the can. it's the debates tonight and tomorrow in new hampshire that will be pivotal to rick perry's campaign. after a flop in iowa's primary,
10:33 am
he has little room for error. director of the perry campaign, ray, thanks for coming back to the show. >> my pleasure. thanks. >> so what is rick perry's strategy going into tonight and tomorrow's debates? >> well, he's going to corner the market as it with were, as the only outsider left in the republican race. he's not served in washington, not served on wall street and is in the position for best conservative change. he's also the only individual in the race that's volunteered to serve in the u.s. military, to wear the uniform. that's really important, particularly heading into south carolina in that state. >> a place to which he's making a beeline, the moment that the debates end.
10:34 am
>> it's a place that the president feels comfortable, his job creation being the only governor in the race and the rest of the country lost and his strong believe that washington is broken on both sides and that we need to overhaul it, make congress part time, cut their pay, send them back to live under the laws that they passed and a lot of the power back to the states, like south carolina, texas, new hampshire, who can make those decisions better than washington, d.c., can. >> ray, i'm curious about the strategy having rick perry and he didn't drop out but when you talk about the time assessing
10:35 am
the campaign, do you think it's a good thing to have people wonder if he's still running because he has been out there so much? >> the governor made it clear that he was in the race. to power through the iowa result and assess what was going on with the results and the campaign and the bottom line is, he still have the fire in the belly. and in places like south carolina and other states and their financial resources to continue on this campaign and fight, which is what rick perry does better to fight for those ideals and win. >> so how is he preparing for tonight's debate and tomorrow's debate and what will define success for you? >> i think you've seen and going
10:36 am
through those important issues, when you see consistent improvement in those performances, you've seen in south carolina, really comfortable going in and meeting with voters, one on one and it's a huge advantage to those that are not comfortable with that. >> thank you so much. let's go now to strategy talk. john mccain beat romney in the new hampshire primary last time around and is now going after romney's opponents. >> when rick santorum sponsored earmark after earmark, i went down to the floor and fought against those. my friends, earmarks are gateway
10:37 am
to corruption. >> crystal han is the press secretary to al gore and michael dunnahey is unaligned thus far. michael, i'll begin with you. is it strange for you and the folks of new hampshire to see john mccain campaigning for mitt romney because those two were engaged in a bitter battle four years ago? >> they were. feel fell off their seats but what a lot of people don't know is in and whatever place he asked him to go to, he spoke on behalf of john mccain. nobody worked harder and let's face it this is not a selfless business and it would be his
10:38 am
turn and indeed it was. >> he won the primary back in 2000 after losing the election. romney came in fourth and do you think he can really win it this time, chris? >>. >> the way it looks right now, i'm sad to say this because it does appear as if romney is poised to do what no republican candidate has done and south carolina has basically drowned the winner of the republican primary process. based on the polls that we have out there right now, it may be
10:39 am
three strikes and you're out for the rest of the republican field given where romney is. some of those debates could change the dynamics but based on what we're seeing right now, romney does seem to be in a position and you would think he would go to south carolina where he has a more traditional base that he could appeal to. is this a mistake ala what mike huckabee did four years ago? >> the social conservatives are up for grabs. they are splintered right now and with his momentum he has an opportunity to coalesce and independents and moderates are going to remain fractured and i
10:40 am
think it's smart for santorum to do that because he needs to continue to show momentum. >> is it the candidate that comes in second place? are we looking for that tuesday? at how the independents go? >> second place in new hampshire is the gold medal this time around. i'm looking for obviously who comes in second, where conservative align themselves. conservatives will determine who comes in second place. >> and speaking of second place, you've served in the clinton white house. who do you think is going to be the comeback kid this time around? >> i'm not sure if there is a dynamic that allows for that.
10:41 am
there was various campaigns and elections and people back in 1992 there was a number of weeks that took place before bill clinton actually even won a primary and that was in georgia. so the whole process, sense of expectation was just structurally very different. there's a limited amount of oxygen in the room. on the cusp of winning new hampshire in the case of the polls gives him a chance to suck up all of that oxygen. it's a different type of dynamic in 2012 than it was in 1992. i think if you look at the republican field, they have gone through a process of speed dating with all of these candidates and at the end of the day it looks like they are stuck with a candidate that their parents picked. i don't see anybody else in the field. i wonder how mr. pawlenty must peal these days. when he got out three or four months ago, that took away the one person that could have been an alternative to this race. >> interesting thought right
10:42 am
there. michael, chris, thank you, guys. >> thank you very much. >> glad to have you into we're going to go straight to the list of number ones, which is a place where folks know all about healthy living. san jose tops the list of healthiest metros. that combines race of smoking and obesity. santa cruz, california, bould, colorado, napa, california, and then bend, oregon. they are aull west coasters, folks. and san antonio tops the nation's best economy index. across the globe to new zealand. the island nation tops the list as the most friendliest country. australia is number two, followed by south africa, canada, and the united states. when it comes to neighbors, "jersey shore" cast is the least wanted celebrity neighbors.
10:43 am
yeah. as for the most wanted neighbor? denver broncos tim tebow. those are the number ones.
10:44 am
10:45 am
10:46 am
the 2012 field of candidates is all about new hampshire. voters will have their say in two weeks and south carolina will be a momentous primary. campaigns have been made or broken in the palm meadow state. alley wine berg has her eyes and ears on the ground there. we know the gloves come off and the campaigns get angry. talk about the tone of the mail and air there in south carolina. >> that's right, alex. south carolina is typically the place where the no holds barred
10:47 am
comes out of the network but ron paul is slamming all of his opponents as what he calls conservatives slamming both newt gingrich and rick santorum and not only is that add going up on the airways, he's playing it and demonstration of new style negative style campaigning which is playing out on the internet, alex. >> and how about romney? where do you think he's turned that around? >> well, he has opened up a wide lead here and shows him with a pretty sizeable lead with newt gingrich and rick santorum vying for second place and romney really has been staging a radar
10:48 am
here. he hasn't been here a whole lot physically but when he is here, they have been in the high productive big events. they get a lot of play on the local airwaves which is helping them out here, alex. >> okay. alley, thank you for being our eyes and ears on the ground in south carolina. it is the season of the reboot in the box office. so does this look familiar? >> got our first plus. >> got him. >> yes. yes. >> you forgot to read him his mar ran da rights. do you even know the miranda rights? >> you have the right to be an attorney. >> did you say, you have the right to be an attorney? >> you do have a right to be an attorney if you want to. >> alish sha, good morning. >> good morning. how are you? >> here's the thing.
10:49 am
we've got to wait for critics to review it and see it but so far it might be a must avoid if you're an original. >> i was a fan of the original. we have leo dicaprio doing the remake. >> yes. >> he's great. he does beautiful photography. also, carrie mulligan is starring in it. i'm excited about this one. >> okay. are you excited about the snow white and the huntsman? the remake of snow white? let's see what you think. take a look at this. >> mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's fairest of them all? >> you are the fairest but there is another who will surpass you.
10:50 am
>> that's mirror mirror who will have you'll yeah roberts in it. >> that's a must see. they are totally different. so the "mirror, mirror" of julia roberts is comical. it's very tongue in cheek. it's comical. you have an oscar winner in there. you have kristen stewart. that is deep and dark. i'm excited to see both of them. >> i was told that we have to wrap but we have this 3-d titanic coming out in april. i've seen it 1001 times. >> enough said. >> alica, thank you. ron paul supporters, controversial ads about jon huntsman. is the campaign standing by it? plus, who's the boss? bill griffin. talking about getting nervous about an interview. he's talking about how cable news is covering the election. he's a nice guy. "office politics" is next on
10:51 am
"weekends with alex witt." that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8. i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol plus diabetes... or high blood pressure... or family history of early heart disease... can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup. and they'd see that it's more important to get their cholesterol where their doctor wants. and why for these patients, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough, i prescribe crestor. adding crestor lowers bad cholesterol by up to 52%. and is also proven to slow plaque buildup. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease... or women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. simple blood tests will check for liver problems. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. or if you have muscle pain or weakness. that could be a sign of a rare but serious side effect.
10:52 am
is your cholesterol where your doctor wants? ask your doctor if crestor is right for you. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astra zeneca may be able to help.
10:53 am
10:54 am
ron paul is a second place and a big ad buy targeting newt gingrich and rick santorum. >> one hypocrite exposed. >> he went the other way when he got paid to go the other way. >> now another has surfaced. a record of be trait yol. santorum voted five times. >> doug, good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> why go after the same pool of voters as him, are you? >> well, i'll explain it to you, the parties favor a liberal
10:55 am
republican and they are mitt romney's. the other 7% -- there's 5% unsure. the other 70% unsure of the gop did not romney. they want a conservative and your own poll shows that the candidate that they view is the true west conservative in ron paul. whoever wins could be the republican nominee. >> what is your goal in south carolina? is second good enough? >> it's interesting. the other candidates that are running for power, vote for me, vote for me and we represent a
10:56 am
cause and our people will support us financially and whether we come in first, second, or third, the cause remains and we think the news media is misreading it because of the proportion nalt of the de delegates that it's going to last a lot longer than the other cycle. >> doug, honing in on new hampshire, there's an online ad being run by a group called support your candidate, and it features and here it is.
10:57 am
>> all right. you've hefrd heard it. some people say it's a low blow using huntsman adopted children in this ad. do you condone this? is your campaign repudiating this ad and is there a way to put a stop to it? >> totally. and we've asked whoever aired it to take did down. we don't know who it is. you say that's one of our supporters. we don't know that. whoever, we've asked them if they are our subpoepporter, to it down. >> do you know -- >> do you know who it is? >> nh liberty for paul. >> anybody can put that up. i've been in seven presidential campaigns. if you can find out who did it, we will take them to take it off right away. we have about 500,000 people who support us and we like our supporters. the number one contributor to barack obama's super pac is
10:58 am
goldman sachs. the number one contributor to romney is super pacs. the people who lost their values of their homes, iras, they are good people. and the republican party cannot afford to shut the door on the ron paul supporters but we disavow this ad and those tactics. >> doug, thank you. >> thanks, alex. the grind in the campaign gets rough. what each contender needs to do before new hampshire votes. and a reminder after tomorrow mornings debate, we'll have a special tomorrow from 12:00 until 2:00. back in three minutes. stay with us. if there were buttons for this? wouldn't it be cool if your car could handle the kids... ♪ ...and the nurburing? or what if you built a car in tennessee that could change the world?
10:59 am
yeah, that would be cool. nissan. innovation for today. innovation for tomorrow. innovation for all. ♪
11:00 am
11:01 am
up next, mitt romney takes command in new hampshire. can rick santorum maximize momentum to pull up a surprise in tuesday's primary? plus, back to back debates.
11:02 am
crucial showdowns. can romney's rivals close the gap? and it's job one. putting americans back to work. good morning, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." what is happening out there, tense moments on the campaign trail in new hampshire and in a city of derry yelling mitt kills jobs. >> even in massachusetts we balance the budget every year. we have some people who want to make themselves heard. hi, guys. how you doing? >> you heard the supporters in the meantime, rick santorum is in new hampshire manchester. just a few moments ago he took
11:03 am
aim at president obama. >> this president has been doing laps. which is a huge cost. >> never did anything about it but four or five times, that tells you how conservative. he doubleded it size of the department of education at the same time he voted for that program to increase massively. the prescription drug program. >> at a newt gingrich event in new hampshire, ron mott, what is being said about the candidates in new hampshire? >> reporter: the supporters are
11:04 am
hoping for a respectful finish. mitt romney has been out in front and been campaigning here for a long time satisfy from neighboring massachusetts. to some extent, it's a race for a second place. we expect gik rich to be here on the stage and standing next to a tank because we expect him to come out with his guns blazing directed at mitt romney. gingrich blames supporters of romney for a barrage of negative attacks that really undercut gingrich's campaign in iowa and here as well. here's some of what gingrich had to say on "hardball" about that last night. >> he has grandchildren. he ought to run a campaign worthy of his grandchildren. he ought to show his grandkids, grandpa did this. what do you think about somebody being beaten up on television? we should run campaigns worthy
11:05 am
of our best, not campaigns that demean us to our worse. >> some of that sounded pretty personal. also, the other big question here in new hampshire is the two back to back debates sunday morning on "meet the press." that's a forum that gingrich has done very well in, again, trying to take down mitt romney or doing a lot of damage. >> ron mott, thank you so much. let's get a bit more now with senior political analyst and james, gentlemen, good morning to you. >> thank you, alex. >> you've been covering presidential politics for years. tell me about the story lines from new hampshire. >> well, the big story line is going to be, can anybody stop mitt romney? the campaign has played a strategy trying to win early because it counts more in terms of momentum and also having an
11:06 am
eye on a longer term strategy. he may win this pretty quick but if it happens to go long term, he's in a position there, too. they run a far better campaign than everyone else and it shows and it's showing. >> james, your take on the take in new hampshire in this race. how do you read it? >> there's no question that it's going to be important. the fact was that we came into new hampshire thinking the big question was how big will mitt romney's win here be? but that's not the question anymore. the question is, how well does rick santorum do? does he get close enough or happen to overcome ron paul in second place to get close enough to mitt romney that all of the other conservatives consolidate behind him and say, he's the guy that can stop mitt romney and right now it doesn't look like he can do that. >> james, you are there in new hampshire. why are you not talking about jon huntsman? here's a guy that set up camp there.
11:07 am
he's been trying to do his thing. do you think he has any potential to pull a santorum like he did in iowa? >> being a big advocate for new hampshire, would you like to say that jon huntsman is ignoring iowa to come and spend a lot of time here is going to work but the reality is it just didn't work. either it was the message or the campaign or it was the candidate but the jon huntsman idea that he could pull a santorum here has been largely buzz and not based on the facts on the ground. >> mark, what's your take on the huntsman situation? >> well, let's let the voters vote and see how he does. there's been a lack of a message and there's been a lack of a strong campaign. both nationally and on the ground. you can park your place in any state. if you don't have a national image or message, it's difficult to break through. they want to vote for somebody that has a possibility to be the nominee and a strong general election candidate. jon huntsman has put in a lot of
11:08 am
time. he's yet to break through with the economy and issues that voters care about and electability. >> with romney being so dominant in this race -- and that's according to the polls. but with double the support of ron paul who is in second, how does one of these candidates go about taking mitt romney down? >> well, i think they need to be talking more about what they do for the economy and the country and less about process. and about the past. you hear these other republicans. first of all, still targeting each other more than they are targeting mitt romney. but when and if they decide to start targeting him, they should, again, be saying, this is why i would be a better president and why i have better ideas rather than newt gingrich talking about the ads have have been run against him. people want to know what you're going to do for the country and most people who attack and get ahead of mitt romney, they are
11:09 am
slowing do down and have lost site of that. >> what about you, james? who do you think can beat romney and how they go about doing that? >> if the voters are going to be looking at this in a different way 30% in our new hampshire poll, 37% had no idea who they are voting for in the new hampshire primary and these folks are trying to answer the question, how do i feel about mitt romney? is he the guy that we're going to put up as the nominee? and if not mitt, then who? these candidates are going to be talking about process, and this campaign is about them and their vote. >> our lower third reads, is mitt romney unstoppable? how much do you think the campaign loves that? >> i wrote that lower third,
11:10 am
alex. >> it's brilliant. >> i thought for a while when they were targeting each other, he's not going to be stopped here. i think based on the trajectory run he will come out stronger, not weaker. if the results do not show someone who is clear for the conservatives to rally around? i think they all go to south carolina and gives mitt romney to do something he didn't even think he could do. >> thanks for the chatter. appreciate that. >> thank you, alex. we invite you to watch the facebook debate moderated by david gregory tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. followed by
11:11 am
"hardball's" chris matthews. the latest jobs report shows that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5% in december. in his media address this morning, president obama says that we're heading in the right direction. joining me now, good morning glad you are here. how do you think the president uses these job numbers in general to position himself in november? >> i think he uses them very carefully, keeping in mind what he predicted about the stimulus program in 2009. it will be terrific and accomplish all of those things he has been very cautious talking about jobs by the fall obama will be able to say that the economy created four million jobs since 2010. it's been in small pieces up
11:12 am
until then but it's not enough. that will give him a sense of momentum by the fall if that continues. there are some things that could go wrong. he can't wroel that at all. that problem in europe is not solved. if it looks like a financial panic, it won't necessarily cause a recession but it will probably slow things down by quite a lot so it's not going to be four million jobs. it will be something lower. >> you've given a lot of thought to this and you've put forth the question, what will the economy look like come november and you have three possible scenarios. >> right so i want to you go through them. >> housing will still be a mess
11:13 am
and people will feel like they are falling behind but there could be one of these financial shocks, such as europe which we just talked about, a potential problem with iran which could shoot gas prices up. i think it's a good chance that obama loses because that has an effect on people's psych key and people feel bad when gas prices are high. >> yeah. >> and the other thing is, there could be a relief rally. if something happens in europe and it gets us over the hump of that problem, investors would be absolutely thrilled. and obviously that puts a lot of wind at obama's back. that would be a re-election issue for him. >> thank you so much. >> thanks. >> rick santorum brought home the bacon and now he's having to defend that. that is ahead in today's fact or
11:14 am
fiction. also, can newt gingrich find salvation in the sunshine state? and in today's office politics, overseeing msnbc's election coverage. i'll talk with my boss. phil griffin here on "weekends with alex witt."
11:15 am
what makes the sleep number store different? you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you want a firm bed you can lie on one of those. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. it's really shaping to my body. once they get our bed, they're like,
11:16 am
"why didn't i do this sooner?" during the final days of our year-end closeout event, save up to $800 on selected 2011 bed sets. plus, free shipping on all beds. only at the sleep number store, where queen bed sets now start at just $899. ♪ more and more folks are trying out snapshot from progressive. a totally different way to save on car insurance. the better you drive, the more you can save. no wonder snapshot's catching on. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive.
11:17 am
former republican newt gingrich has take answer hit in the polls and is trying to take a comeback. he has a couple of debates to win new hampshire but it could be florida that may really make or break gingrich. good morning and thank you for being with us. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> there is a massive advertising blitz by the romney
11:18 am
campaign. how are you combatting that? >> well, first of all, we have marco rubio's former director and we're organized in county chairs and we're chasing the best leadership skills and has the best chance to be president of the united states, as opposed to mitt romney in particular, he has bold, inspirational ideas, a gold economic plan and i think that the rest of us believe that at the end of the day newt gingrich is much more likely to defeat barack obama's than knit romney or any other candidate in the republican field. he's more articulate, a better spokesperson, bolder, more decisive, and where he has to defend himself and he's doing that in massachusetts which is the model for obamacare, he is free to attack that plan, which is a very, very significant part
11:19 am
or should be of this campaign. >> how about your newt gingrich's campaign strength at this point. >> well, we have an organization all over florida. i think he's organized in south carolina and florida. we have counties with chairman and more than that. there's a tremendous grass root support out there for him. we have an office in orlando and elsewhere in the state. and new hampshire before that and we're waiting for him to come here with a great organization compared to perhaps what he might have had in a couple of the early states. >> as you know, your candidate was dogged by statements that he made about african-americans on food stamps. we're going to take a listen to
11:20 am
what he said here. >> if the naccp invites me, i'll go to their convention and talk about why the african-american community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. if the naacp invites me to speak, i'm going. >> he's referred to the president as the food stamp president. if you look at the poll numbers, do you think he's going to let it go? would you advise him to not do that? >> newt gingrich is recognized for being the leader that got us to welfare reform and i served with him in house republican leadership. i was there when we took control of the congress in '94 and when the welfare reform legislation passed. i think what he's trying to follow on is what ronald reagan believed in and that is, we should be providing opportunities and find
11:21 am
opportunities to get education and work and not be on food stamps and not to talk about it would be wrong. on the other happened, this campaign is about a lot of things. for one thing, president obama announced a huge cuts and it's a wrong time to be doing that. newt gingrich is the right candidate. very versed in foreign policy and more than the republican candidates to debate that issue, to bring it home that this is not the time to be reducing our defenses when you have china and north korea and problems with iran right now, he is the better candidate to defeat the president than mitt romney or any of these others. that's what the focus of the campaign is on. pinning his hopes on new
11:22 am
hampshire, yet jon huntsman still calls himself the underdog. that's next on "weekends with alex witt." er ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. learn more at
11:23 am
11:24 am
11:25 am
it all comes down to trust. candidate john huntsman is asking new hampshire voters to trust him. he's urging voters to ignore pundits forecasting a victory and give the underdog a shot instead. >> what i love about the new hampshire primary, you love to take an under dog from wherever they happen to find themselves and dead last, i call myself the margin of error candidate. i'm looking forward to wednesday morning. waking up and reading once again that the people of new hampshire have uppened conventional wisdom.
11:26 am
>> i'm joined now by jon huntsman's daughters. good morning, girls. thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having us. >> i'm sure you love your dad as much as i love mine and it's got to be hard to see your father work so hard and feel like it's not translating, at least in poll numbers. let me start with you, mary ann. tell me about how you feel about things on the ground? >> you know, i think things are going pretty well. we just celebrated our 150th town hall a couple nights ago and we had 400 people with a standing ovation. i was just told that 37% are still undecided, which is huge. so we're still feeling pretty good about things. >> okay. so that means momentum, you think your father may have the wind at his back but, abbey, do you think it's enough? it's not like this can go on open-ended. we have three days before new hampshire voters go to the polls. >> we've seen so many polls that came out.
11:27 am
there was one last night that came out with my dad at 16. what matters is the poll on january 10th and that's what we're looking forward to. what we see on the ground here is momentum and people connecting to his message. that's the most important thing for us and i think everyone will be surprised to see how well we do on the 10th. >> libby, does your dad ever get disappointed? >> no. he's always there with a positive attitude. >> that's good to know. i want each of you to either give me a word, an adjective, a phrase, something that tells the voters about why your father makes a good president. >> honesty. >> somebody who is trustworthy. what about you, liddy? what do you think reflects your father? >> i would go along the same thing. i would say trust. he's running off of trust because i think we've lost that in today's age of politics. so i would say definitely
11:28 am
trustworthy. >> okay. mary anne? >> i was going to go with trust but also someone who can bring people together, a people's person. >> okay. well that's -- >> he's running on his record and clearly some experience with dancing and acting and all of that kind of stuff. all you girls are having a great time. thanks for your time with us. good luck. >> thank you. thanks. >> mitt romney's plan to cut taxes. will it benefit everyone equally? that's coming up in today's fact or fiction. and "the iron lady," a former candidate calls a woman in history. you're watching "weekends with alex quit." [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
11:29 am
11:30 am
11:31 am
so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
11:32 am
this week we said good-bye once again to the possibility of a woman in the white house after michele bachmann dropped out of the race. the minnesota congresswoman calls herself "the iron lady." a new film on thatcher's life is set to hit theaters next week. >> if the gentleman could perhaps attend more closely to what i am saying rather than how i am saying it, he may receive and thank you for being here. meryl streep is amazing. you found it somewhat depressing. >> no, i did. i felt that meryl streep is fantastic, a very impressive performance but didn't really capture the brilliance, the
11:33 am
stamina of who thatcher was and i guess the depth of her achievement, viewed through the eyes of -- it humanizes her, who is suffering dementia and seeing her political career through that lens and she won three elections, an incredible battle and free market capitalism. thatcher knows in her name. you didn't get the sense of that in the film. >> she's a woman who never veered from her conviction. >> yes. >> she knew exactly what she stood for prior to and otherwise. >> yes. >> is that something that may be missing with politicians? >> i think that's missing generally amongst politicians.
11:34 am
the physical stamina -- she comes into a position of stamina and power. >> you also wrote about 3:00 in the morning discussions that she would have with other politicians and she would be extracting information out of them. >> right. exactly. they tell stories about it being 3:00 in the morning and tipsy and what do you think? >> and i think that that really captures that she was a woman who worked her way to the top and was brilliant. you know, she was -- the iron lady tag has invoked a lot to you, someone who did very well, not someone who was in apartment meant 20 years before she led the country. a chemist and -- >> you forget that. >> a chemist and an attorney. >> exactly. >> but it's incredible to me. is there some woman, though, an american politician who is deserving of the title america's
11:35 am
iron lady? >> i think they will be vying for it. >> you don't think hillary clinton may have that given what she has done and where she is now? >> hillary clinton has been in politics for a long time. there is sexism and so on. hillary clinton has certainly stared that down and she's incredibly competent. but i just believe it's band-aid around to show that they are not like normal women. the whole idea of an iron lady is someone who is tougher. as michele bachmann said in her ad, she has a tigtanium spine. >> as you are, having written this in the new york times, thank you for writing that. jul julia baird. we are just a few days from new hampshire's primary.
11:36 am
candidates are hunkering down among the today's edition of fact or fiction, joining me from washington is editor of roll call daily briefing. and equal tax cuts to all americans. >> that's a fiction. the joint tax policy center, which is actually considered the most credible scorekeeper of these things, there are liberals and conservatives on it. their assessment is that the richest, the millionaires would get a tax cut averaging between 5 and 7%, depending on their tax returns, $150,000. the tax cut would get smaller and smaller as
11:37 am
he was a virtuous culture warrior but also in favor of earmarks. he's unapologetic about it. defending it and saying it's the job of a member of congress to try and bring home a fair portion of the tax dollar to the state. in the second to last year he was in the senate, he and his fellow republican teaming up about $500 million in earmarks. now, to be fair to rick santorum, the rules have changed
11:38 am
and earmarks are not allowed anymore and you have to disclose what you are after. >> jobs will be the key issue in a 2012 campaign, mitt romney and others will be attacking the record. here's the fact or fiction here. since the end of the recession in june 2009, more than 1.2 million jobs have been created. >> that's a fact as far as it goes but all of the republicans, especially mitt romney, are noting that after the president's economic plan took effect before the campaign ended, they took a loss. t so that is a fact. >> david hawking, thank you. >> thank you. now for more of my "office politics" interview with my boss. i wanted his take of what cable has become, from his vantage point. >> could you have imagined that cable news, msnbc, would be such
11:39 am
a force this way at its outset? >> no. no. and that's why -- i love when people say, in five years, what is it going to be like? really? >> do you have an answer for that? >> no, i don't. all i know is you better evolve. if you don't evolve, you die. this business is changing radically every day. ten years ago, cable news was entirely different. it was much more sort of a legal-centric. we went through everything from monica lewinsky to any sort of legal issue out there. and then it changed. i think 9/11 had a huge, huge impact and the web and everything that was going on but it became much more politically-focused and that's when we -- we really changed. and really took off as a network when we branded ourselves the place for politics. >> let's look at what's happening sunday morning on msnbc and nbc. the nbc facebook debate.
11:40 am
which is pretty cool in itself. i mean, nbc partnering up with facebook and msnbc. you've got a political season here now where there have been over a dozen debates and it's all about getting more information. is this a dramatic change, getting this volume of information, this presidential election cycle? >> look, i thought 2008 was incredible, the way that information got out. but it is interesting, there are all of these different outlets but look at the ratings for the republican debates. the great thing about the business that we are in, there is appeal and you can see people and virtually get a sense that you can't get anywhere else. >> i always wanted to know, sitting in that chair on election night, who blinks
11:41 am
first? and how do you decide when you're going to shut off the lights with an election? it seems like you look around, what are the other cable networks doing, regular broadcast networks doing? how do you figure that out? >> first of all -- >> because i've been there. it's so tiring. >> we want to do things first. i don't want to wait and see that they did it and then, oh, we're going to do it. we want to be the leader. that's really important. we don't follow. we lead. >> it's mandated coverage. >> but that's an interesting question. i think a deck atd ago we were watching what we believe, we own our world and we've got to have that swagger. we do it. we said it. you look at a show from beginning with "morning joe," it sets the agenda of the day.
11:42 am
it just does. they don't look at anybody else but everybody else looks at them and i think it's really important you have a sense of who you are and what you do and if you do you don't have to look at the other guys. >> what is the most important thing that you find yourself doing when you are not at work? i mean, for people who don't know phil griffin, other than the fact that you sit in this great corner office? >> you know, it sounds cliche but it's my children. i want to be with them. they are now 14 and 16. i hate it. i dread it already. >> terrible teens? >> no. i don't want them ever out of the house. >> oh. >> it is everything. so they are -- they are just such a big part of my life that, you know, i hate the idea of them getting older. i go to every game. we spend our time together. it's powerful. >> you're getting teary-eyed. >> no, i'm not. >> and i am, too, because i am the same way with mine and i know what that is like. >> so we just spent ten days in
11:43 am
florida. it was fantastic. every day we were playing basketball, volleyball, on the beach, swimming, golfing, it was fantastic. >> my boss, phil griffin, on what is really important. he's a great family man. next up in the big three, newt gingrich goes negative as his poll numbers continue to fall. is henc down and out? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." we'll be right back. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all.
11:44 am
11:45 am
11:46 am
it's time now for our big three panel. three topics. new hampshire's ron run away race and how negative is too negative when it comes to campaign ads? i'm joined by karen finney and joe watkins. good morning the three of you. thanks for being here. >> good morning, al electric. alex. the negative ads work. this is a anti--huntsman ad.
11:47 am
it refers to huntsman suggests that his adoptive daughters and real allegiance remains overseas. where is the line when it comes to campaign ads and does this ad cross it? >> oh, absolutely. this absolutely crosses it. i read about this last night and was just disgusted. going after someone's adopted children? that's so disgusting. i think -- here's one of the things in this cycle. this kind of ad is a very bright line in the sand where people can say, you know what? that's way too far over the line. the question is going to be, are we going to understand by the end of the cycle that thanks to citizens united, that line is going to get crossed in despicable ways time and time again and we're going to have to really evaluate what is acceptable and what is not and how we get the money out. >> and posted on a youtube account by a group called nh
11:48 am
liberty for paul. i spoke with one of the campaign advisers there for ron paul and he said, we don't even know who put this up there. if we knew who it was, we would say to them, take this thing down. joe, we don't know that a super pac made this but it did cost some money somewhere. is this the dark side of politics and could this backfire on john paul? >> well, i know dug we'd. he's a good guy. >> and let me be clear, he said, let's get rid of it. >> i believe that. but i think that the reason why negative ads are such a big deal, because they work. i mean, newt gingrich went down the polls back in december because his opponents spent about $1.2 million to affect his standing in the polls. i think you're going to continue
11:49 am
to see negative ads whether you like them or not like them. some of them are very funny, by the way. but i think they are going to continue. >> i'm going to begin with you, glenn, when we talk about this interview in which santorum called gingrich a good friend and gingrich was asked by a conservative radio host if there was a scenario under which he would team up with santorum to defeat romney. here's his response. >> rick and i, we have a 20-year friendship. we are both rebels. we both came into this business as reformers. if you take to that perry and bachmann, you begin to see the sign of the conservative vote compared to romney. >> glenn, could you see the gop uniting around the alternative to romney who is viewed as more conservative? >> that seems like it's been the dominant theme of the campaign so far. not just that romney is the
11:50 am
front-runner but other characters are trying to rise up and pose a challenge to him. for a while it was michele bachmann, then herman cain and more recently it was newt gingrich and now the flavor of the month has been rick santorum. now, whether or not there's a formal apply generals, there's alliance, they have to dislodge mitt romney from the top of the polls and if they can do it in sof united fashion, so be it. but rick santorum is out for himself and newt gingrich is out for himself. >> we're going to take a very quick break. i'm going to come back with the panel to predict who is going to have the best and worst debate performance in new hampshire. here is a look at your weekend forecast. we don't have a lot of bad weather to talk about. the mild january weather continues, 60s and 70s in the lower half of the country. a little rainy in atlanta and
11:51 am
new orleans. sunday, still more of the same, except for the rain in the southeast, a mild, beautiful january weekend.
11:52 am
♪ more and more folks are trying out snapshot from progressive. a totally different way to save on car insurance. the better you drive, the more you can save. no wonder snapshot's catching on.
11:53 am
plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. you tell us what you want to pay, and we give you a range of coverages to choose from. who is she? that's flobot. she's this new robot we're trying out, mostly for, like, small stuff. wow! look at her go! she's pretty good. she's pretty good. hey, flobot, great job. oops. [ powers down ] uh-oh, flobot is broken. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. call or click today. we're back now with the panel. as you all know, normally here i would be asking who had the best and worst week in politics. but in light of this weekend's two debates in new hampshire, we're going to switch it up with this, karen, who stands the most to gain from these debates and who is likely dreading them?
11:54 am
>> well, rick perry is probably dreading them, because debates are not his thing. and i think the person who has the most to gain at this point would be ron paul or rick santorum. i think you're going to see santorum, like newt gingrich, is very thin skinned. i don't think he's going to hold up very well. >> do you think that you're going to see gingrich coming to santorum's defense, that they're going to be a tag team? >> it could be. but here's the reality, and this is what newt gingrich refuses to understand, people just don't like him, because they don't like him because he's a hypocrite. he says one thing but his record is something different. rick santorum, when you pull the layers off, same thing. santorum says he's a middle class guy but he's taken all this money from people when he was in congress. >> gingrich was the guy that got the endorsements some weeks ago in new hampshire from the times leader.
11:55 am
so that's going to mean something. he has a lot at stake here in new hampshire. santorum has a lot at stake, also. >> so who do you think has the most at stake and who do you think is going to do the best, a combination of gingrich and santorum? >> i think huntsman has the most at stake because he has bet everything on new hampshire. so he has the most at stake in this one. >> glenn, same question to you, what are you going to be looking for from this weekend's debate and who will fair the best and worst? >> mitt romney is going to be the target. he's the one that everybody is trying to knock down, not just in the new hampshire primary, but the overall race for the nomination. i think you're going to see a guy like rick santorum and rick perry talking far beyond this audience here in new hampshire. they're going to be talking to the people in south carolina and florida, trying to appeal to social conservatives. >> i'm curious, who can offer the answer to this question,
11:56 am
this is a quick turn around, and you know that after there's a debate, there's a lot of post discussion analysis and you've got all of your surrogates and people weighing in on how you did. what's going to happen tonight? care, do you have an idea what happens like that? >> it's interesting, i saw chris talking about this earlier, the compressed nature of the calendar has changed the dynamics. people won't have a lot of time to absorb what they see and hear. unless you hear something outrageous, it's probably not going to change your mind at this point. that's why i agree with glenn, these guys are also speaking to the south carolina audience. that is where the real opportunity is. >> we'll let karen have the last word. thank you very much. that is a wrap of "weekends with alex witt."
11:57 am
i'll be looking for you tomorrow. we'll be following the facebook debate at 9:00 eastern. post debate an less will come after that. have a great weekend. ♪ imagine zero pollutants in our environment. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all.
11:58 am
11:59 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on